From the point-of-view of a solutions provider the wastewater treatment should be straight forward: once given the composition of the feed and the required composition of the effluent, today's technology allows formulating a set of solutions which best meets the operator's and the regulatory criteria.
The problem with wastewater in the unconventional gas exploration and production operations is that there are large volumes to be handled and treated. To add complexity, composition varies for the same well in time and varies even more from area to area of development. Also, the requirements for the cleaned fluid vary from operator to operator and by region. Moreover, management of the water based fluids is under the pressure and scrutiny of various regulating agencies: public, privately, or governmentally run. All these constraints make the vetting of treatment methods and technologies to be a very dynamic and intensive process.
Our findings during the process of formulating a set of solutions shows that a deep understanding of the problems, combined with close collaboration with the operators and regulators along with solid basic engineering practices are the key to success. Our experience would benefit the new developments in other unconventional exploration and production area in Asia by showing the steps that were undertaken to insure solutions are up to the highest standards.
The process of finding and testing various waste water treatment technologies to formulate a flexible comprehensive set of methods will be described. Laboratory results of various samples of water will be presented as well as the challenges that were overcome for obtaining consistent, reliable analytical data. The oilfield tough requirement presented to new technologies translates as: rugged, flexible, mobile, and low cost.